AJAX, agile focus of releases

Two trendy software development technologies, AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) and agile programming, were advanced last month with rollouts from Tibco Software and Rally Software.

Featured is a new version of Tibco’s General Interface development platform that includes a free deployment option.

Although AJAX technology has gotten hot in the past year, General Interface has featured AJAX-style development since 2001. The General Interface development platform is being upgraded by Tibco, which acquired General Interface in the fall of 2004. The platform currently has an installed base of several thousand users, according to Tibco.

But with General Interface Version 3.1, a new deployment option called General Interface Professional Edition is intended to boost that installed base. The Enterprise Edition is also being upgraded as part of the rollout.

Professional Edition features a licensing plan that lets developers build and test applications for free. Applications can be deployed to the general public at no cost; privately deployed applications start at US$499 for five concurrent users.

The goal of Professional Edition is “to make the technology available and affordable to a much broader developer community,” said Kevin Hakman, director of product marketing for General Interface at Tibco. “General Interface provides a framework for deploying applications that look, feel and perform like desktop software but run purely in a browser.”

With the no-cost deployment option for the Professional release, Tibco can lure developers interested in AJAX who might otherwise seek a free, open-source alternative, said analyst Ray Valdes of Gartner.

“What’s happening with AJAX itself is it’s catching on like wildfire at the grassroots,” Valdes said. Previously, Tibco offered just the General Interface Enterprise Edition, which started in price at US$25,000.

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